March 23, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 90  

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York recruits door-to-door, sort of

By Marshall Bellamy
Gazette Staff
Pete Bastedo/Gazette
IT’S NOT JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES. IT’S NOT THE IRS. OH NO, IT’S YORK UNIVERSITY RECRUITERS! York is now sending recruiters to the homes of their A-listers.

Recruiters from York University have been visiting the homes of their top prospective students in hopes of convincing them of the virtues of York.

David Huckvale, associate director of recruitment at York, explained that the university has been sending recruitment representatives to the homes of 30 potential students with high entrance marks.

“We find it a fun thing for our staff members,” he said, explaining staff who live near the students will visit the students’ homes. “I was at one house and I sat down on the couch and got cookies — it was great.

“I’d like to think that it shows these students they’re the students we want at York,” he said, adding the initial response to the program has been promising. “It’s the information we provide, rather than the style we provide — and these are top students; they deserve to be treated well.”

“You have to look at it from a broad range of issues, one being what your competitors are doing,” said Lori Gribbon, manager of undergraduate admissions and liaison services in the Office of the Registrar at Western, adding universities tend to be far more competitive in recruiting students than in the past. “Is it competitive? Yeah. Are people pulling all the stops? Definitely.”

Gribbon admitted Western does not have a program similar to York’s visits to prospective students, but indicated that Western has been involving the faculties in recruiting.

“We’re coming up with a plan for what we’re going to do next year,” she said, adding university recruitment drives have been focusing more on individuals.

“It would make me feel special if they visited me,” said third-year biology student Alex Girowski. “But does York really need the good students? They can’t boast about quantity, so they have to get quality?”

According to Huckvale, the program has been ongoing for several weeks, but it is difficult to gauge the success of the home visits thus far because students will not be deciding on their universities of choice for another two months.



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